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Posts Tagged ‘cannellini beans’

Cannellini Beans with Wilted Spinach and Bacon “Just what the doctor ordered,” I said as I dished out a savory salad onto my plate. With white beans, spinach, and a few chopped dates thrown in for good measure, I easily fulfilled one of the four daily servings of potassium-rich food that my cardiologist recommends. Why take supplements when you can eat delicious food?

Cannellini Beans with Wilted Spinach and Bacon
Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit: 12 Easy Ways to Cook a Can of Cannellini Beans

INGREDIENTS
Cannellini beans (canned), rinsed and drained
Onion, thinly sliced
Bacon slices, chopped and cooked
Garlic, minced
Red pepper flakes
Baby spinach leaves
Olive oil
Fresh lemon juice and zest
Chopped dates

DIRECTIONS
1. Cook chopped bacon in a skillet until bacon is brown and crisp. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate to drain.

2. Add sliced onion to fat in skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden.

3. Add minced garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.

4. Add cannellini beans and cook until heated through.

5. Put spinach leaves in a large bowl and using a slotted spoon to drain off the bacon fat, spoon the cannellini bean mixture into the spinach and toss. The spinach will begin to wilt from the heat of the beans.

6. Drizzle with some olive oil and fresh lemon juice, and toss to combine.

7. Add chopped dates and lemon zest, and toss again.

8. Add salt and pepper to taste.

9. Top with bacon.

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. To reduce sodium levels, I used cans of reduced-sodium cannellini beans.

2. I “doubled” the recipe: I used 2 cans of cannellini beans, 1 medium onion, 10 slices of bacon, 2 small garlic cloves, and about 8 ounces of baby spinach leaves. This quantity should yield six servings.

3. The next time I make this salad, I will add more crushed red pepper flakes to give it a little more kick.

4. I chopped about 5-6 pitted dates and added them to the salad. This was not part of the original recipe, but dates are high in potassium and offer a nice sweet counterbalance to the tart freshness of the lemon juice.

5. The lemon zest was not part of the original recipe either, but why waste this most fragrant part of a lemon?

6. To reduce the fat content and make this salad healthier, omit the bacon. Instead, sauté everything in olive oil.

Enjoy!

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whitebean, shrimp, and arugula salad

In my best “Fretalian,” my own blend of French and Italian, I asked my waiter “Scuzi, qu’est-ce que c’est?” as I pointed to the menu. He obviously did not understand “Fretalian,” because he looked at me questioningly. While traveling through Italy, I noticed an oft-appearing item on menus and I wanted to find out what it was. I tried again, this time in English. “What is rocket?” The young Italian waiter continued to give me a puzzling look, so I tried gesturing. I pointed to the menu and then shrugged my shoulders with my palms facing up to the ceiling. “Ah,” he said and motioned for me to wait and then ran off to the kitchen. A minute later he came out with a green leaf in his hand. I looked at the leaf and smiled as I nodded my head in recognition. “Rocket,” the mysterious menu item, was none other than arugula. “Grazie,” I said to him as I placed my dinner order. This little story came to my mind, while I was preparing this low fat and impressively nutritious salad. The arugula or “rocket” adds a nice peppery punch to the salad and it texturally balances the other ingredients.

White Bean, Shrimp, and Arugula Salad
From the Essential Low Fat Cookbook by Antony Worrall Thompson

1 (14 oz) can cannellini beans, drained
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Juice and zest of one lemon
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 mild long red chili, seeded and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, mashed to a paste with a little sea salt
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 stick celery, thinly sliced
6 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
16 cooked jumbo shrimp, peeled
2 handfuls of arugula leaves

Directions:
1. Heat beans with a little salted water for 3 minutes. Drain and then tip into a bowl.

2. While they are still warm, combine beans with olive oil, lemon juice and zest, honey, pepper, and chili.

3. Allow to cool and then combine with remaining ingredients.

Serves 4

Linnell’s Notes:
1. Instead of using a mild long red chili, I chopped up half a red jalapeno to give the recipe a little kick.

2. Not being a big fan of raw onions, I used less than half of a red onion and found this amount to be perfect for my taste.

3. I used large shrimp that came de-veined.  I cooked them in water and Old Bay seasoning, drained them, and then peeled off their shells. Do not overcook the shrimp or else they will be dry and tough.

4. You might have noticed in the photograph, that there are no mushrooms. I had a mental “blip” and totally forgot to add them. It’s too bad because the mushrooms would have been delicious in this salad, not to mention the added nutrients they would have supplied!

Enjoy!

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My husband will wonder if I’m throwing an impromptu party when he finds a container of freshly stuffed mushrooms and cherry tomatoes in our refrigerator. Yes, I’m having a party, but just a party for one! With only two months left before my son’s wedding, I would still like to lose some weight. Since my son became engaged, my husband has managed to lose over twenty pounds. What about me? Well, despite the fact, that I eat a small-portioned, healthy diet and work in a mix of cardio and strength training on a regular basis, I’ve not lost a single pound! My trainer tells me not to fret, since I have lost inches and body fat. So what about the appetizers in my refrigerator? Other than at the gym, I hate repetition. Bored with the usual snacks of apples, celery, and carrots, I decided to reward my progress with some healthy gourmet snacks!

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes Italiano
Recipe as found in Deborah Anderson’s cookbook Easy Gourmet-Style Cooking With 5 Ingredients

Ingredients:
36 cherry tomatoes
1 – 15 oz. can of cannellini beans, drained
1 bunch of fresh basil, plus 24 leaves
2 tablespoons garlic-flavored olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions:
1. Rinse the tomatoes and set aside.
2. Also wash and set aside 24 small basil leaves and chop remaining basil.
3. Cut 12 tomatoes in half, squeeze out all the seeds and juice, dice and set aside.
4. In a food processor or blender, puree the beans, basil, garlic oil and lemon juice until it reaches a finely chopped consistency.
5. Place pureed bean mixture in a medium bowl. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and chopped basil.
6. Remove top 1/4 portion from remaining 24 tomatoes and discard.
7. Slightly squeeze out the seeds, liquid and pulp using a small spoon, so you can create a cavity within the tomatoes.

8. Fill tomatoes with the bean mixture.
9. Garnish each tomato at the top with 1 basil leaf.

Makes 2 dozen.

Linnell’s Notes:
1. Having large ripe tomatoes sitting on my kitchen counter, I decided to dice those instead of the cherry tomatoes.
2. I used a little bit more lemon juice than called for, just to give it a fresher flavor.
3. I added half a shallot, a little salt and freshly ground pepper to the food processor before adding the beans.
4. You don’t want to over process this bean filling. It should still have small chunks of bean in it.
5. The recipe confusingly adds the basil twice – once to the food processor and then again to the pureed bean mixture. I ended up adding some to the food processor, and added in a bit more with the tomatoes. Although I love basil, I would probably not add as much the next time I make this recipe.
6. I did not discard the tomato tops as instructed in step 6. Instead, I diced them and added them to the bean mixture. I hate to waste food!
7. I used the small side of the melon baller to scoop out the tomatoes and then inverted the tomatoes on a paper towel to drain. A small demitasse spoon was used to fill the tomatoes and the mushrooms with bean filling.
8. Garnishing the tomatoes and the mushrooms in the photo are tiny Globe Basil branches from my garden.
9. The bean mixture is also delicious in baby bella mushrooms.

Enjoy!

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‘Tis the season to be quick and speedy. With time at a premium, but a high desire to entertain, why not make life easier? That’s what I did when I needed a tasty appetizer in a hurry. I simply reached into my pantry and pulled out a can of cannellini beans. Cannellini beans are also called white kidney beans and like other beans, they are high high in protein and fiber and low in fat. Cannellini beans are popular in Tuscan dishes and other Italian cuisine.

Here’s a bean spread recipe that requires few ingredients and is a hearty appetizer when served with toasted baguette slices or pita chips. During the summer when tomatoes are abundant and flavorful, I gently fold in some fresh diced tomatoes after the mixture has been pulsed in the food processor. This is in addition to the sauteed ones. If the spread needs to be thinned, I add additional olive oil like the recipe states, but I use Meyer lemon infused olive oil for a brighter taste.

Cannellini Bean Spread Recipe

This is an adaptation of a recipe from Chef Kurtis Jantz of Trump International Beach Resort in Miami.

4 ounces olive oil, good quality
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 roma tomatoes, small, diced
15.5-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed in cold water and drained
1/2 ounce Italian parsley leaves, rough chopped
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper, fresh-ground, to taste

In a medium, tall-sided sauce pot, add olive oil and heat on high until just below the smoking point. Remove from the heat and carefully add minced garlic. As soon as you smell the aromatics of the garlic (you do not want the garlic to get overly brown), add the tomatoes and stir well. Return pot to the stove over medium heat and add cannellini beans. Simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from stove, and let cool slightly. Fold in parsley. Using blender or food processor, pulse blend just until the beans are broken up but not pureed, leaving some texture. You can add more olive oil to the mixture if you like it thinner. Cool to room temperature and serve.

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